director of clearly the best star wars film of the six, the empire strikes back. but director of so much more than that. never say never again — possibly the best of sean connery’s bonds. robocop II, infinitely better than the original.
this from George Lucas in the new york times:
The world has lost a great director and one of the most genuine people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. Irvin Kershner was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. When I think of Kersh, I think of his warmth, his thoughtfulness and his talent. I knew him from U.S.C. – I attended his lectures and he was actually on the festival panel that gave the prize to my THX short. I considered him a mentor.
Following “Star Wars,” I knew one thing for sure: I didn’t want to direct the second movie myself. I needed someone I could trust, someone I really admired and whose work had maturity and humor. That was Kersh all over. I didn’t want “Empire” to turn into just another sequel, another episode in a series of space adventures. I was trying to build something, and I knew Kersh was the guy to help me do it. He brought so much to the table. I am truly grateful to him.
He was a friend as well as a colleague. He will be missed.
you can read the whole thing here.
i saw empire strikes back, probably 10-12 times in the cinema. star wars changed my life. empire convinced me it wasn’t a fluke. and it was my first experience of being left craving the next episode like i was an alcoholic craving my next beer.